The movie musical Chicago has taken six top honors, including Best Picture, at this year's scaled-down Academy Awards ceremonies in Hollywood.

Chicago, nominated in 13 categories, also won five other Oscars, including Best Supporting Actress awarded to Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Controversial Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski won the Oscar for Best Director for the Holocaust memoir, The Pianist.

Polanski did not accept the award in person. He has not been in the United States since fleeing 25 years ago to avoid sentencing for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

The Pianist also won in the Best Actor category, with the Oscar going to relatively unknown actor Adrien Brody.

Australian star Nicole Kidman won Best Actress for her portrayal of British novelist Virginia Woolf in the drama The Hours.

Veteran Hollywood actor Chris Cooper won an Oscar for his supporting role in the film Adaptation.

Many stars attending this year's academy awards ceremony wore peace pins or other signs of protest over the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

Controversial director and political activist Michael Moore was both jeered and applauded when he criticized President Bush and the U.S. military action in Iraq, as he accepted an Oscar for best documentary for his film Bowling for Columbine.

Security for this year's Oscars was the tightest in the 75-year history of the awards and the usually glitzy ceremony took on a more somber tone. During the awards anti-war demonstrators rallied outside the theater behind police barricades.